LIFE / CULTURE
Children's theater play wraps up in Beijing, showcasing local life in 'hutongs'
Published: Aug 08, 2022 04:37 PM
The children's theater play, adapted from a book <em>Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure</em> by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre

The children's theater play, adapted from a book Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre


A children's theater play showcasing life in Beijing's hutongs, the traditional alleys formed by courtyard residences, came to an end on Sunday after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.

The play, adapted from a book Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling, is set in Dongcheng, one of Beijing's busiest and oldest districts in the eastern city proper, with rich stories to tell. A happy and naïve little girl nicknamed Yaya the Mouse spent a carefree childhood together with her friends and her cat Sanya in a hutong. The children liked to catch "bat fairy" and built their secret garden on the roof of their house. They later escaped to the outside of the city to look for the "rainbow's feet" in adventure.

The children's theater play, adapted from a book <em>Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure</em> by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre

The children's theater play, adapted from a book Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre


"We hoped to warm the hearts of our audience with this work. We've achieved that by constantly changing the order and altering the details of the play," said the play's director Wang Ze.

Set in the 1950s' Beijing, the play grasps and maintains the essence of the original novel, presenting a contrasting world of everyday life in the hutongs and the unique atmosphere of China's capital.

The children's theater play, adapted from a book <em>Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure</em> by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre

The children's theater play, adapted from a book Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre


"Both the book and the stage play are about the city itself and what has happened inside it. We included the story of hutongs in the play so that audiences can be amused by them while watching the performance," added Wang Dong, general manager at the Beijing Children's Art Theatre.

In addition to being faithful to the original work, the children's play values the design elements such as stage beauty, lighting, costumes and puppets; and while trying to be realistic, it is committed to mixing dream and reality in the play.

The children's theater play, adapted from a book <em>Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure</em> by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre

The children's theater play, adapted from a book Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure by the Beijing-born author Ye Guangling,comes to an end on August 7, 2022, after a four-day run at the Beijing Nationality Culture Palace Theatre.Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Children's Art Theatre


As a realist play, the production focuses on the process of exploration during a child's development. The play takes a dip into current serious topics of concern including friendship, the second-child policy and family relationships, but tackles them in a light and amusing way.

Based on the author's own childhood experience, Ye wrote a trilogy, including Uncle Mouse Wake Up Late, Sanya the Cat's Rooftop Adventure, and The Old Black Dog's Trouble. The trilogy outlines the innocent but colorful childhood of the protagonist Yaya and shows her vitality and her friends as well as the profound influence of the traditional Chinese culture on children.

Global Times